It was Bank Holiday Monday here this week. Almost everything in the city was closed, including The Spanish Onion café. One word sprang to mind. Yipee!
Our loft neighbours Bethany and Ethel who own the launderette next door, Toxic Bubbles, are holidaying in St Tropez (we’re clearly in the wrong line of business). They kindly left us the keys to their 1974 registration Fiat 500 for a few days. This caused uber excitement in our household as we don’t own a car. This is on account of the fact that we have no place to park, we don’t have a driveway, and we don’t own a garage. The only people now living in central London who can afford to have a parking space, have a driveway, or own a garage, are either Russian oligarchs or lesbian laundrette owners.
“It may not be the South of France but how do you fancy motoring down to Camber Sands for the day?” asked Guido grinning enthusiastically. My heart sank. Immediate thoughts turned to wearing highly revealing swim trunks and exposing my burgeoning waistline (please don’t mention the cabbage diet). I pinched at least an inch of pillowy flesh.
“For crying out loud would you stop worrying about the size of your stomach,” said Guido.
“Well it would help if a certain chef stopped bringing leftover pie upstairs from the kitchen every night,” I said. “Just saying.”
“Are you talking about me?” asked Guido.
“No,” I said, “I’m talking about Gordon Ramsey. He’s living under our mattress.”
Anyway as far as going to the beach is concerned Guido sure does have a short memory. The last time we went to Camber Sands on a Bank Holiday it was a total disaster. The weather was like that final scene from the movie The Perfect Storm. Guido insisted on running manly into the icy waves wearing only a pair of microscopic Speedos just like Charles Atlas did. Regrettably he emerged five soggy minutes later looking more like The Creature From The Black Lagoon.
“We could take the tent and the disposable bar-b-q and some tuna steaks and my fiery pineapple salsa,” said Guido.
He always gets really excited about cooking on the beach. I think its the butch Spaniard in him. I grew up in Bromley and the mere mention of cooking on hot coals makes me cringe. Picture it. My mother in a drunken stupor trying to ignite our George Foreman using Pimms.
The journey from Bermondsey to Camber Sands in a 1974 registration Fiat 500 is a very long and cramped one. Even with the sun roof open. Unfortunately I was map reading, so you can imagine what that was like. I think I had it upside down so we took a wrong turning and ended up at the Dartford Tunnel.
Guido enjoyed the drive and didn’t seem to mind at all that we never made it to the coast. Well, at least this Bank Holiday he didn’t get soaked and I got to keep my clothes on.
Guido’s Fiery Pineapple Salsa
Mix one can of chopped pineapple with half a chopped sweet onion and half a chopped red pepper. Add a few sliced jalapeño peppers from a jar and the juice of one lime. Sprinkle with some salt and coriander (cilantro). Chill.
Then eat by the side of a very busy intersection.